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"LARGER THAN LIFE"
(1996) (Bill Murray, Matthew McConaughey) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor None Mild *Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Mild Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A man inherits an elephant and has five days to get it across the country to a zoo.
PLOT:
Jack Corcoran (BILL MURRAY) is a motivational speaker who finds out that his father has recently died and left Jack a "large" inheritance. That turns out to be Vera, a full sized, adult elephant that had belonged to his father when he was a clown working in the circus. Jack also "inherits" a $35,000 damage bill from the lawyer who's been holding Vera, and so Jack needs to make money to pay that off. He finds two people who might be interested in buying Vera, Mo (JANEANE GAROFALO), a zoo worker and Terry Bonura (LINDA FIORENTINO), a big time circus coordinator, both of which are willing to pay top dollar for the pachyderm. The only problem is that Jack has to get Vera from Maryland to California in just five days. During his journey across the states, he gets a ride from trucker Tip Tucker (MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY), a psychotic big rig driver. Jack cancels Tip's current job to get him to transport them, but when Tip finds out and goes for the police, he later makes it his mission to find Jack for some payback. From then on, it's a race against time and elephant stubbornest as Jack tries to get Vera to the west coast.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Probably. A story with Bill Murray (of "Groundhog Day," "Ghostbusters," etc...) and an elephant will sound mighty appealing to them.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild language and innuendos.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILL MURRAY plays a motivational speaker who must deal with his "large" inheritance. He does deceive Tip and also later steals a truck in order to get the elephant across the country.
  • MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY plays a psychotic truck driver who makes it his mission to hunt down Jack and twice uses violence toward him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 4 out of 10
    This film has somewhat of an interesting, old-fashioned premise (a "road movie"), and while it's amusing at times, it fails to make a lasting overall humorous impression on the audience. Murray is up to his usual alternating between deadpan and goofy expressions, but is nowhere as good at dealing with an unbelievable situation as he was in "Groundhog Day." McConaughey ("A Time to Kill") is nearly unrecognizable in his role and provides for a few more laughs, but his lunatic performance begins to grow more and more annoying as the movie progresses. And of course once you hear that Vera's got a trick she would only do for Jack's father, you know that toward the end of the movie she'll perform it for him. If you're looking for a lightweight comedy that won't tax your mind or your funny bone, you might enjoy this one. We thought, however, that the one joke plot ran out of gas long before the movie did. We give it a 4 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There isn't much to object to in this movie. Other than 1 "s" word, profanity isn't any worse than what you'd hear on regular TV shows. There's one brief discussion about how elephants "make whoopee," but it's not too bad. Violence is limited to elephant caused destruction and Tip's two attempts to attack Jack (one with a tire iron and another with an electric prod), but again these aren't too bad either. We do suggest, however, that you read through every category listing before allowing your children to see this film.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have cocktails and wine at an engagement party.
  • BLOOD/ GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Tip uses the term "retard" when talking about government workers.
  • Motorists and another truck driver yell and make life miserable for Jack as he tries to drive a big truck up a steep incline without really knowing what he's doing.
  • Jack calls and cancels Tip's truck order, so that he'll be free to take him and Vera to the west coast.
  • Jack steals a truck to make sure that he can get Vera to the airport in time.
  • FRIGHTENING/TENSE SCENES
  • If your kids are scared of dogs, there's one brief scene where Jack is confronted by a barking and growling junk yard dog, but it turns out to be a funny scene and the menacing part is very brief.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Jack tells two security guards that if he's not telling the truth they can both shoot him.
  • Tip comes after Jack on two separate occasions. The first time he has a tire iron and the second, an "electric goad" (essentially a cattle prod), but no damage is done.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Weasel faced shuckster," "Balls," and "Retard."
  • A circus performer puts a pacifier up his nose moments after telling Jack that he once put both a spoon and fork up his nostrils.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 1 "s" word, 4 damns, 2 hells, 1 "ass" word (and maybe 1 more), 1 SOB, and 3 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "God," "Swear to God," and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Jack touches a woman's butt as he helps her get to the top of a human pyramid during one of his motivational speeches.
  • Tip wonders how elephants "make whoopee." He then mentions Vera lying on her back with "four tons of love coming down on her," and then yells "Give it to me. Give it to me."
  • SMOKING
  • People smoke at an engagement party.
  • A petting zoo worker smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jack gets a telegram informing him that his father recently died. This confuses Jack since he was told by his mother long ago that his father died while saving a drowning boy. When he confronts her about this, she says that his father was irresponsible and that she took Jack and moved out without telling the father where they were going.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • A tattooed lady from the circus is seen and kids may wonder what's all over her skin.
  • Using animals in movies like this (and whether they're treated okay or if it's cruel to make them do this).
  • There is also the issue of Jack's father dying and of him not ever knowing the man.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's a little bit of elephant related property damage (such as Vera running through clothes lines that then pull down decking from houses in an alley).
  • Jack drives over top of a street sign as he tries to drive a big truck onto the highway.
  • Once Tip has found out that Jack canceled his trucking job, he comes after Jack with a tire iron and swings and nearly hits him several times. Eventually Vera steps in and picks up Tip by his foot and the chase is over.
  • A circus worker uses an "electric goad" (essentially a cattle prod) on an elephant to get it to move.
  • Tip shows up at an airport with the "electric goad" and must be tackled and restrained by security guards, one of which is shocked by the prod.



  • Reviewed October 30, 1996

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